Over the course of the next five weeks, close to 70% of Americans will travel for the holidays -- that's around 245 million people. Whether you're going by car, bus, plane, train, chopper, or hot air balloon, here are 5 travel apps guaranteed to make your life easier:

Airports get a lot of attention during peak travel times, but the vast majority of long-distance holiday travel happens by car -- about 91 percent. If you're in that category, you'll appreciate this app that helps you find the closest, cheapest gas station wherever you are.

You can search by your current GPS location or by address or zip code. Since many of the price listings are user-reported, GasBuddy also gives you points for reporting and/or updating a station's prices -- points redeemable for raffles of prizes like free gas.

Availability: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Ever wanted to know if there's a Chipotle the next terminal over, or if the line is shorter at a different security checkpoint? GateGuru is like your personal assistant at the airport. Besides organizing your travel info, it gives you a map of terminals, reviews of airport restaurants, and lists average wait time at each terminal's security checkpoints.

Availability: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

This one is very clever. Skiplagged uses "hidden city ticketing" to find you cheap tickets that are invisible on other sites.

Say you want to fly from LA to Dallas. While a direct flight might be pricey, there may be a cheaper flight from LA to Miami that includes a layover in Dallas (see where we're going here?). Skiplagged shows that option, giving you the chance to buy the cheaper LA > Dallas > Miami ticket and simply "miss" your connecting flight to Miami.

A few caveats: you can't check bags, since they'd be routed to your "final" destination; you can't book a roundtrip flight, only two one-way tickets; and if there's bad weather, your layover destination could be skipped (rare, but it happens).

Availability: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Want something interesting and creative to do with family in your city? Detour has immersive, audio-based walking tours for cities all around the world, including NYC, SF, LA, Austin, Chicago, London, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, and Marrakech.

The app recruited filmmakers and journalists to create engaging audio adventure walks that last up to 10 hours. Just plug in a pair of headphones, sync the audio to your group so everyone can hear, and use GPS location tracking to stay on track. WIRED said it's "like walking around in a movie."

Availability: iOS

Cost: Free

Just what it sounds like -- helps you identify the closest free Wi-Fi. Available worldwide, it has a map-based way of showing you the nearest hotspots, and, helpfully, also tells you which signal is strongest. Covers 144 countries.

Availability: Android, iOS

Cost: Free

Bonus apps for pet people:

DogVacay: Official doggy daycare places can get expensive. DogVacay connects you with pet-friendly sitters near you -- it's like AirBnB for your pooch. Each sitter has reviews, and you can pay through the app. $30-$80 per night. Android and iOS. Free.

BringFido: Helps you find pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, dog parks, trails, and more, wherever you are. You can filter by distance, popularity, and price, and book reservations through the app. Users leave reviews, including photos. iOS. Free.

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"Many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased." John Steinbeck

Published on: Nov 22, 2016